Children teaching each other

1 04 2008

I either read or saw something recently about the pupils in a class taking on the teaching of a topic, ie a group of 3 or 4 children were given a topic (like a maths concept) and given a week to prepare the teaching of it, mental maths, resources, written work, homework and assessment and then did it with the rest of the class.

I thought about it for a while totally unsure if my class would be able to do it and then decided it might actually work, especially as things become difficult in p.7 towards the end of the year.  I am always telling the kids that shows they have really learned something and understood it if they are taught it and can do it and then can teach it to someone else.  I also tell them that I may not always explain something in the best way and they might explain in a better, or just different, way to someone who will then understand it.

I mentioned it to one of my maths groups today and they were really excited at the idea so I think once I have the headteacher’s conference (!)  out of the way I will try that with the class.

We did our end of topic assessment today for our science electricity topic.  This topic has been newly re-done and I did it for my latest 6 week open area active learning slot.  As it is new I did not do it last year but I would have been really interested to see if another class learned and retained more or less from doing a more class based learning model.  A lot of the time I felt the children were going off in tangents, not necessarily in a bad way, and not learning what they were meant to be.  A combination of factors led to this such as not enough initial explanation and teaching before we started the open area slots and their continued difficulty in finding information and taking notes whether it be from the internet or reference books.  I will need to refine it a bit for next session.  As for the results of the test – good from those I would expect, not so good for those with reasons and a fair few in the middle who could have done better but have difficulty in listening, and/or working!

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